A San Francisco jury found Terry Childs guilty of one count of felony denial of service yesterday. The count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Considering that he's already served nearly two years to date, he may actually be released on parole at his June 14 sentencing hearing, or he may be facing another three years behind bars. His lawyers stated that they will appeal.
Regardless of the particulars of the case, or the deeply technical concepts that probably eluded many of the jurors, he has been convicted of a specific crime referenced by a specific California statute. I've read a few quotes from jurors, in particular:
"Being able to administer the FiberWAN services themselves is a service," said Jason Chilton, one of the jurors, in an interview after the verdict was announced.
[ InfoWorld Contributing Editor Paul Venezia has led the way in reporting the bizarre case of Terry Childs. Consult our InfoWorld special report for a complete index of that coverage. ]
Another apparent juror posted on Slashdot. Naturally, this could be complete BS, but the post appears to be legitimate. The juror claims to be a CCIE with 13 years of experience in the field. He also says that this case should never have been brought to trial:
This case should have never come to be. Management in the city's IT organization was terrible. There were no adopted security policies or procedures in place. This was a situation that management allowed to develop until it came to this unfortunate point. They did everything wrong that they possibly could have to create this situation. However, the city was not on trial, but Terry Childs was. And when we went into that jury room, we had very explicit instructions on what laws we were to apply and what definitions we were to follow in applying those laws.
This was not a verdict that we came to lightly. There were very difficult points to overcome in reaching it. We were not allowed to let our emotions or biases determine the matter, because if they could there may have been a different outcome. Quite simply, we followed the law. I personally, and many of the other juror, felt terrible coming to this verdict.